Updated 26 November 2018

PS4 Safe Mode

Learn how and when to access Safe Mode, a troubleshooting tool designed to help resolve data and display issues on the PS4.

Safe Mode allows you to start your PS4 system with only the most basic functions active. The Safe Mode options are designed to help you solve issues by rebuilding the HDD database, changing the resolution of your PS4 or "hard" resetting the system to its factory settings.

Some Safe Mode options will result in the loss of data. Always attempt to back up data from your PS4 system to an external hard drive, USB storage device or Online Storage before selecting an option from the Safe Mode menu. Safe Mode is designed to fix issues with PS4 firmware and should only be used when recommended by a PlayStation support article or Sony support staff member.

How do I start the PS4 in Safe Mode?

  1. Turn off the PS4 system by pressing the power button on the front panel. The power indicator will blink for a few moments before turning off.
  2. Once the PS4 system is off, press and hold the power button again. Release it after you hear the second beep: one beep will sound when you first press, and another seven seconds later.
  3. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4 with the USB cable and press the PS button on the controller.

How can I update my PS4 firmware using Safe Mode?

If your PS4 system has been offline for a long period, or lost connection to PSN during a system software update, you may need to manually update the system software. A manual update can be downloaded directly to your PS4 or to a USB. Please follow the guide below for step-by-step instructions.


I can't start my PS4 in Safe Mode

If you cannot start your PS4 system in Safe Mode using the steps detailed above, you may need to power cycle the system or check the PS4 cables. Please visit the guide below for the steps to take before requesting a repair.

I can't get out of PS4 Safe Mode

There are certain issues that will cause a PS4 system to repeatedly start in Safe Mode to protect the system. Power cycling your PS4 system or replacing the HDD may help rectify the "Safe Mode loop". Click on the guide below for detailed troubleshooting steps and a link to the Fix and Replace diagnostic tool.

What are the Safe Mode Options?

Select an option below to find out what each function does, and how it can be useful.

  • 1

    Restart System

    Ends Safe Mode and restarts the PS4 system normally.

  • 2

    Change Resolution

    Changes the display resolution to 480p when the PS4 system is restarted.

    This option can be helpful when troubleshooting issues with blank screens. After restarting at the minimum 480p, you can head to [Sound and Screen] > [Video Output Settings] > [Resolution], and select the highest functioning resolution for your display device.

  • 3

    Update System Software

    Allows you to update the PS4 system software via direct download, USB storage device or disc.

    This is an initial troubleshooting option, often used after a firmware update has failed due to poor connectivity or a power outage. If you cannot connect your PS4 to the internet, head to the System Software webpage on a connected device; download the required update to a USB storage device or disc and install it on the PS4 system using this Safe Mode option.

  • 4

    Restore Default Settings

    Restores the PS4 system to the default factory settings. Restoring Default Settings will not delete the saved data on your hard drive (games, save data, screenshots etc.) but will remove all of the settings applied to the system.

    This is a useful step if you are looking to quickly refresh all of your system’s settings to their original state.

  • 5

    Rebuild Database

    Scans the drive and creates a new database of all content on the system. This operation may take a long time depending on the type and number of data items.

    This option is useful for cleaning up the data on your PS4 as it reorganises everything on the hard drive. Select this option if you are experiencing issues such as game freezes or frame rate drops.

  • 6

    Initialize PS4

    Deletes all user data and restores the PS4 to its original state. If possible, back up your data before using this option. You can either save your data to a USB storage device or Online Storage. System software (firmware) is not deleted.

    This is a final step when attempting to fix a PS4 system.

  • 7

    Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)

    Deletes all user data and removes PS4 firmware. If possible, back up your data before using this option. You can either save your data to a USB storage device or Online Storage.

    Click here to download the reinstallation version of the PS4 system software and learn how to reinstall system software via USB.

    This is a final step when attempting to fix a PS4 system.

  • 8

    Set HDCP Mode

    If your PS4 Pro is connected to a 4K TV that doesn't support HDCP 2.2 (please refer to your TV manual) it may not be able to display an image when playing 4K games or 4K video streaming. In order to see an image you need to choose this setting and select [2. HDCP 1.40 Only] on the next screen*.

    *This may limit video resolution to 1080p. This reduction in resolution happens because a 4K image can only be displayed when HDCP 2.2 is supported by all connected devices including the display device, HDMI cables, as well as any A/V amplifier or home theater system that may be connected.